Who is Christina Koch? The first NASA astronaut to orbit the moon
Christina Koch will become the first woman to orbit the moon when NASA’s Artemis II mission launches next year.
Christina Koch, 44, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is set to become the first woman to circumnavigate the moon
The Grand Rapids, Michigan native, 44, already holds the record for the longest time a woman has spent in space, 328 days, and for participating in the first all-female spacewalk in 2019.
Ms Koch, who was selected to be an astronaut in 2013, said she didn’t follow a “checklist” to become an astronaut – instead chasing after her passions, be it climbing, sailing or even surfing in her 40s.
She said in 2020, “I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an astronaut.
“For me, I learned that I wanted to be an astronaut because my passions made me the person who could contribute the most to human spaceflight.”
While exploring space, her husband, Robert, tends to the couple’s household chores and puppy, LBD. They are not believed to have children.
NASA has revealed the identities of the four astronauts who will make the first trip to the moon since 1972 as part of the Artemis II mission. Victor Glover (second from left), 46, will become the first person of color to be selected for a lunar mission, while Christina Koch (second from right), 44, will become the first woman. They were chosen alongside Reid Wiseman (left), 47, of Baltimore, Maryland, and Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, 47 (right).
‘Am I excited? Absolutely!’ she said at a press conference when announcing the crew on Monday.
“The one thing I’m most excited about is that we’re going to take your excitement, your aspirations, your dreams with us on this mission.”
She also said, “We’re going to be launching from Kennedy Space Center, we’re going to put the words ‘go for launch’ here on the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built.”
NASA has sent a total of 355 people into space so far, of which about 55 are women — or 15 percent. It also sent 24 people to lunar orbit and 12 to the lunar surface, all of whom were men.
Russian Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to ever leave Earth’s atmosphere – she launched in 1937. American women were not sent into space until 1983.
However, Frau Koch will make history on the Artemis II mission when she completes her long-awaited journey around the moon.
She revealed her love for space in a video when she was announced as a member of the Artemis I team in 2020.
The astronaut said: “I’m someone who has loved exploring the frontier since I was little.
“I used to be inspired by the night sky and throughout my career it has been this balance between engineering for space science missions and doing science in really remote places around the world.
“I loved things that made me feel small, things that made me think about the size of the universe, my place in it and everything that was out there to discover.”
She added: “I haven’t necessarily lived my life by checkboxes of how to become an astronaut.
“But I followed those passions and one day I looked at what I’ve become and the skills I’ve gained and I asked, ‘Could I sit across from a table and present myself as someone who is good at it can?”. And I thought I’d try.’
She went to North Carolina State University in Raleigh for a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering.
She then became an electrical engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland before becoming a research scientist for the United States Antarctic program and living in the Arctic for a full year.
Ms. Koch was one of eight people selected for NASA’s 21st class of astronauts in 2013. After two years of training, she became a full-fledged astronaut.
Her first space flight took place in 2019 when she was sent to the International Space Station (ISS) to work as a flight engineer.
She stayed up there for 328 days, setting the record for the longest space flight by a woman. The previous record holder, Peggy Whitson, was in space for 288 days.
While in space, she also set the record for the first all-women spacewalk with Jessica Meir — when a female astronaut steps out of a vehicle in space.
Artemis II is a follow-up to the Artemis I mission, which completed a 25-day mission around the moon in late 2022. She shot into space on NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket (pictured).
Splashdown: Artemis I’s Orion capsule is recovered from the Pacific after a successful mission
The pair spent seven hours and 17 minutes on the side of the ISS as they worked to swap out a power controller. The walk also included a brief phone call with President Trump.
Upon returning to Earth in 2020, Ms. Koch said she felt “like a baby” who was two weeks old and was working hard to hold up his head.
Back on Earth, she lives in Galveston, Texas, just outside the Houston area.
Her interests include backpacking, running, yoga, photography and travel.
Now she will be part of a groundbreaking mission as part of NASA’s goal of putting a human on Mars.
The Artemis II mission marks NASA’s first voyage to the moon in half a century. It says it’s being done to help the test kit prepare to take humans to Mars.
The agency sent an empty Orion capsule around the moon last year before returning to Earth in a long-awaited dress rehearsal.
If this final mission goes well, another flight will be sent in 2025 to land humans on the moon — as part of tests before sending humans to Mars.
NASA will land the first woman and first black person on the moon as part of the Artemis mission in 2025
Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and moon goddess in Greek mythology.
NASA chose her to embody their path back to the moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2025 – including the first woman and the next man.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration of the Moon and Mars.
Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Artemis 1 will be an unmanned flight that will provide a basis for human exploration of space and demonstrate our commitment and ability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.
During this flight, the spacecraft will launch the world’s most powerful rocket and fly further than any human-made spacecraft has ever flown.
It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the moon, over the course of a roughly three-week mission.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration of the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the different phases of the mission
Orion will stay in space longer than any astronaut spacecraft without docking with a space station, and return home faster and hotter than ever.
With this first reconnaissance mission, NASA is taking the next steps in human exploration into space, where astronauts will build and begin testing near-lunar systems necessary for missions to the lunar surface and exploration of other, more distant targets, including of Mars, are needed.
This will put the crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans on board.
Together, Orion, SLS and Kennedy’s ground systems will be able to meet the most demanding requirements for crew and cargo missions in space.
Finally, as a result of the Artemis mission, NASA wants to establish a sustainable human presence on the moon by 2028.
The space agency hopes this colony will uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advances, and lay the groundwork for private companies to build a lunar economy.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-11934613/EXPLAINER-Christina-Koch-female-NASA-astronaut-set-orbit-moon.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Who is Christina Koch? The first NASA astronaut to orbit the moon